For 72 years, the first Monday evening in May has been dedicated to a very special event - the annual Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, where celebrities vie for attention on the red carpet in creations by famous designers. And why not, after all, it's about raising funds for the museum's Costume Institute.
In times of corona and lockdown this is of course not possible, but the Met Gala and host Anna Wintour would not be the institutions they are if she were to be deterred from doing so. Thus, the theme of this year's Met Gala, which was supposed to be "About Time: Fashion and Duration", was unceremoniously changed to "A Moment with the Met" and the whole event was organized virtually.
"Normally, on the first Monday in May, I would find myself on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art welcoming guests to the annual gala of the Costume Institute. Instead, like most of you, I find myself at home. This is a time of mourning and privation for millions of people, and postponing a party is nothing compared to that. And yet one thing we have learned in these difficult times is that we need each other. Community is essential to who we are. If we are to emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient, we must emerge from it more connected than ever before," said Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue in the US and host of the Met Gala, welcoming viewers on Monday night on the Vogue YouTube channel.
Wintour then referred to the US fashion industry, which was severely affected by the corona virus pandemic. "The livelihoods of millions of people across every breadth of the economic spectrum have been shattered by this pandemic. That's why Tom Ford and I have launched 'A Common Thread', an initiative to try to help those in the fashion world who need it most. So far we have raised nearly $5 million from donations large and small, and we are so grateful for all of them," continued Wintour.
She concluded by saying that it would be impossible to recreate the Met Gala. "Nevertheless, I have asked a friend to join us on the Vogue YouTube channel to give us a special moment of joy and hope. She performed at the Met Gala almost a decade ago and told me that it was one of the most extraordinary moments of her life," Wintour singer Florence Welch introduced, who sang the song "You've got the love" by British musicians The Source.
#MetGalaChallenge allows the public participate
For the first time, the general public can also participate in the Met Gala, as there is the #MetGalaChallenge, which Vogue called for together with actor Billy Porter (known for his legendary appearance as sun god last year). Anyone who feels like it can take part and just recreate a look of past Met Galas, take a picture with it and post the result on Instagram with the corresponding hashtag.
Vogue and Porter will then select winners and present them on Instagram accounts at the Met Museum, Met Costumes Institute and Vogue. Several prominent and non-prominent participants already followed the call and showed their fashionable side. Vogue has already compiled the best results in an article.
The purpose of this year's Met Gala is not only to raise funds for the museum's Costume Institute, but also for the "A Common Thread" initiative launched by Tom Ford and Wintour, for which Wintour asked for donations in their YouTube appearance.
The exhibition "About Time: Fashion and Duration", curated by Andrew Bolton, which presents 120 looks since the museum was founded in 1970, will be on view from 29 October 2020 to 7 February 2021.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.DE, translated and edited.
Photo: Met Museum